Kimi Raikkonen was realistic about his fourth place finish in today’s Japanese Grand Prix, admitting that Ferrari could not have challenged for the podium.
Raikkonen has also warned that Ferrari’s lack of development will mean that it will be hard for the Scuderia to hang on to third place in the constructors championship – with McLaren closing in.
Giancarlo Fisichella finished in a credible twelfth.
Giancarlo Fisichella – 12th: “I had a better feel for the car this weekend and I think the effect from that could be seen, although maybe not in terms of the results. Today, I could run at a good pace, especially in the middle part of the race. It’s a shame I lost a place in my battle with Kovalainen. We managed to get ahead of him in the pit stop, but then he swerved across to the inside at the only point where I left the door slightly open and he leaned on me, managing to get by.
“Towards the end, I had to fight off Sutil who was very quick and was on the soft tyre, while I was on the hard: at this point the KERS came in handy. Now I am looking forward to Interlagos in a more confident mood: it will be important to get a slightly better start position to try and finally make it into the points.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 4th: “Today the car wasn’t bad, but it was not quick enough to fight for the podium. This fourth place is useful in terms of keeping the team in third place in the Constructors’ Championship, but it will be hard to hang onto it over the final two races. I will definitely do everything I can though.
“I was unable to make up places at the start, especially as the first corner is not that far from the start line and so I was unable to make the most of the KERS. In the first stint, when I was on hard tyres, the situation was a bit difficult, but then, once on the softs, things improved considerably. I managed to close on Heidfeld and pass him at the pit stop, even though, coming away from my stop, I found myself in traffic behind Button. Then there was not much to fight for to the end of the race.”
Stefano Domenicali: “All things considered, this is a positive result: I don’t think we could have done any more than this fourth place. We got the most out of the F60 as it stands today and, thanks to yet another great drive from Kimi, we also managed to stay third in the Constructors’ classification. Giancarlo also drove a good race, driving competitively in terms of pace and performance, as can be seen from the fact he set the eighth best lap time. In the middle stint, on the soft tyre, both our drivers were very quick, their lap times matching those of the best. The team worked well and we must continue to do so for the final two races left to run in this strange season, fighting tooth and nail to reach the target we set ourselves from the mid-season onwards.”
Chris Dyer: “After the disappointment of Singapore, it’s nice to see Kimi again finish a race in a good position. With hindsight, there’s some disappointment with a result that could have been even better: we opted to start on the hard tyres on Kimi’s car, because we weren’t entirely sure about how the soft ones would work over a distance. In fact, their performance stayed consistent, as we saw in the second part of the race, when both our drivers were very competitive. On top of that, we failed to make up places at the start, which is what we usually manage.
“We played about a bit with the stops to try and pass Heidfeld and we managed it. In the final stint, it seemed at one point that Hamilton had a problem and then the Safety Car closed everyone up. Kimi tried to see if there was room to attack him at the re-start but there was not. Giancarlo drove a good race and it was important for him and for the team to see him fighting with Kovalainen and Alonso for a place just outside the points. It’s a shame that, coming out of pit lane after his second stop, he lost a place in his battle with the McLaren driver.”